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Brad McQuaid on Pantheon's partnership with Shroud of the Avatar


If today's Pantheon Elf reveal and the news that the Kickstarter-hopeful Pantheon MMO has formed an alliance with Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar for some cross-promotional goodies aren't enough for you, perhaps you'd like to hear some of the details from Visionary Realms' CCO Brad McQuaid himself. He provides a bit of insight on the decision to partner with SOTA, offers hints about what players can expect from the promotion besides the special cloak announced this morning, and touches on the impact of Vanguard's sunset on his fledgling MMO. Read on!

Massively: This cross-over promotion is not something frequently done in the MMO industry, especially between two different companies and two wildly different games and game developers. What made you and Richard Garriott decide to go this route?

Brad McQuaid, Visionary Realms CCO: I have been a huge fan of Garriott since Ultima II. It's what inspired me to get into game development in the first place. So it made sense that I reach out to Richard since Portalarium already had used Kickstarter for SOTA. Turns out he had had the same idea and was already talking to his team! It didn't take long before we began talking about different ways we could help each other out. The beauty of it is the games are different enough that they are not competitors but are similar enough to have some cross-over -- many of the same gamers are interested in playing both.

Should players take the promotion as a sign that one game or both needs "propping up" by the other? What makes you think that players of one will want to support the other, given their philosophical differences and development tracks?

We don't think there are significant philosophical differences, certainly not to the extent that we couldn't work with each other. Do the games need "propping up"? Sure, all crowdsourced games should help each other out. It's mutually beneficial.

When you say "cross-over content," we assume you won't mean anything as dramatic as walking through a portal to the other game. What precisely can players expect -- titles, gear?

Gear, at the moment, but both companies are working on something way cooler -- too early to release any details, though. There's a lot of creativity between both teams, so there's been some pretty cool ideas.

What will happen to Pantheon if the original Kickstarter is not funded? What will happen to this promotion on SOTA's side if Pantheon is not funded? Will SOTA players who participate in the promotion not get their bonuses in SOTA if Pantheon goes under?

They would still receive the item as a reward for their support, even if one of the games ceased to exist. What a dark and dismal question, though! There's a big community for not only these two games but lots of other different variations in the MMO genre.

(Visionary Realms' PR Manager has since clarified this answer with more detail: "If th‎e Kickstarter doesn't fund, the plan is the same as it would be if it only meets the 800k. That is, that VRI will be approaching VCs and Publishers to seek more funding. If SOTA or Pantheon doesn't, for some reason, make it to launch, then the items would still be available in the other game. The two games aren't interdependent, but rather simply supportive of the other.")

How has the Vanguard sunset announcement affected the development and funding of Pantheon so far?

It's always hard to see any game have troubles. As bummed as we are that Vanguard is coming down, it has created a situation where even more Vanguard players are being exposed to Pantheon. The silver lining is that there are even more options nowadays for players looking for a home. We'd be more than honored to have some of them with us in Terminus.

When readers want the scoop on a launch or a patch (or even a brewing fiasco), Massively goes right to the source to interview the developers themselves. Be they John Smedley or Chris Roberts or anyone in between, we ask the devs the hard questions. Of course, whether they tell us the truth or not is up to them!

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